What Was I thinking? (If Only I Could Remember): On Having Two Children

“Mothers are all slightly insane.” 
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Insane. Noun, something that is very foolish or unreasonable. 

Kreade is two and a half months old and I’m fairly certain that I’ve already lost my mind. I started a class a week before baby boy was born and sometime after we brought him home I told my husband that I was okay with getting  ‘B’. What?! Did I really say that?! Surprisingly, I DO remember this. But really…what is happening to me? 

I’m pretty sure that it might have something to do with the fact that I have two children now.

Two children. People do it all the time. You have your first, love it, get pregnant with your second and are under the delusion that it will be a piece of cake. After all, you’ve lived through one baby already. How hard can two really be?

I WOULD RATHER HAVE AN ENTIRE CLASS OF EIGHTEEN SPECIAL EDUCATION PRESCHOOL CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS.That’s how hard. I’ve seriously pondered whether I might be a little insane, and given the definition I probable am…foolish and unreasonable. Yep. That’s me now-a-days. 

Nothing could have ever prepared me for this. Of course it hasn’t helped that baby boy has had a myriad of little issues and quirks that have made for an…exciting transition. 

Now, when I go the the bathroom I don’t just have one pair of eyes staring at me, there are two. Same thing when I shower. I feel as if I am constantly being stalked. Except my stalkers rely on my to feed them, bathe them, play with them, and love them. 

If I happen to get a few moments of silence during the day (which rarely happens since Ellie has stopped napping) I usually reward myself with candy or ice cream to make the moment even (literally) sweeter. One time I left the bag of Rollo’s ‘within reach’. This was a big oversight on my part. After nursing baby boy I entered our living room only to find my two year old with a chocolate smeared face and a golden wrapper covered floor. I don’t know how many she ate, but I’m sure the dentist would rather not hear about this event. Hey, at least she wasn’t jumping on his head while he was trying to nurse.

When you have two kids you really learn the art of distraction. While you are feeding baby you have to distract number one with a variety of pointless but “fun” things in order to prevent being jumped on, or poked, or asked a million questions about what they baby is doing, and why he “wants to eat that side.” So number one vacuums the floor with her pretend vacuum, or looks out the window to see if there are any cars going down the road, or runs to the door and listens to hear if there are any birds outside.

Distraction. A mother-of-twos’ best friend. 

And if you want to go anywhere, logistically, it is 100 time harder. Do you have both sizes of diapers, both sizes change of clothes, wipes, sippe cup, snack, nursing cover, car seats? Whose nap time is it? Do you have enough time to get to both Wal-Mart and the grocery store? If you need to get gas, forget about making it to the bank too…someone will want to be eating by then. And you better hope that you DO have both sizes of diapers, cuz squeezing a size 1 on a size 4 bottom is basically impossible. And making a size 4 fit on a size 1 bottom is pointless. Oh, and don’t forget your list. Because that mom-of-two brain is incapable of remembering the slightest of details. Chances are, if you don’t have your list all you will walk out of the store with is milk and Lucky Charms. 

Seriously, what was I thinking?

My life now is a bit like survival. I could probably call myself the Lone Survivor of our Household. I go from one diaper to another, one toy to another, feeding one to feeding another, getting one down for a nap and scrambling to get all of my homework done in thirty minutes while distracting the other. Bathe one, bathe two…hopefully get a shower myself. Bounce the bouncer, stir the spaghetti sauce. Pop a pacifier back in, stick the bread in the oven. Drink the pretend tea your two year old brings you while simultaneously filling her sippee cup. I start out most days with a list of things to accomplish…and maybe one out of the five things get done. 

And some days I wonder…what was I thinking? A two year old and a two month old? No wonder I feel insane. 

It’s always in that moment when I feel myself approaching that edge of true insanity. And in that moment baby boy flashes his toothless grin, or Ellie breaks out in her contagious giggle. And I remember why. Because, in the end, it’s all worth it. After all the insanity of each day, after all of the stress and craziness, there is something about children that just gets to you. Their eagerness to be loved, to interact with the world is like a breath of fresh air. And I know that I would do it all over again to see their little faces learn and change and grow. 

Psalm 127:3 certainly rings true…”Children are the heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Yes, when I stop and really think, I see the reward. I see it in their eyes when I kiss their cheeks, in their smile when I give them their plate of food, when I help them get dressed, take them outside to play. The reward is found in the things that sometimes feel mundane. And you know that no matter what, you will always love them.